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places to eat in long island city?

taking a driving trip and would like to stop for lunch in long island city, any recs?

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  1. John Brown Smokehouse. Amazing Burnt Ends and Pork Belly.


    1. Tournesol

      French Bistro. Delicious! My neighbor is from France and it's her go-to french place.


      5 Replies
        1. re: Tabetaina

          just went to cafe henri for the first time this morning. I had many negative moments, but then the food came and it was hard not to like it. I'm going to go back for lunch or dinner.

          How would you compare them vs Tournesol?

          I did like Tournesol, and would probably prefer it - only because it seemed like it has more soul.

          1. re: Jeffsayyes

            I definitely prefer Tournesol to Cafe Henri.

              1. re: Jeffsayyes

                I prefer Tournesol as well, the quality of the ingredients are better, the preparation is more skillful and authentic, overall just better in every way.

      1. LIC Market - it's a different part of LIC, and it might be my favorite restaurant in Queens.

        1. Bread Box - truly great salads. Huge sometimes creative and delicious. I've also had the chicken skewers with humus which was excellent. But get ready for this - PARKING! Nice place to sit indoors and out. Can't believe it's been there almost 3 years, I drove by recently and assumed it had just opened. Not usually a stretch to go down when looking for a spot to eat.

          Highly recommended


          1. http://www.johnbrownseriousbbq.com

            That is the correct URL for the smokehouse. This is a good list.
            I am heading into LIC this weekend. Any classic NY style pizza? No brick oven, no fancy ingredients. Just cheese and grease.


            1 Reply
            1. re: sekelmaan

              there's San Remo Pizza, which I haven't been to but it seems really dinghy. it's a really cool spot actually, but no ones ever there. never had the pizza.

              bella via is the fancy stuff. there's also Juniors which has bar pizza. Only slice joint is san remo though.... good luck.

            2. So we are back from LIC. We were turned down from Tournesol due to the fact we had a toddler.

              We went to Testaccio. It was barely mediocre. We had bruschetta, paparadelle with duck and braised oxtails. The bruschetta were bland and on thick slices of bread. The oxtails were chewy. The paparadelle was the winner, which we finished. The service was only average. The idiotic hostess was trying to keep the toddler out of the dining room and kept trying to seat us at the bar or high bar tables.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sekelmaan

                not child friendly much? too bad--you should have headed over to de mole in sunnyside, doe mexican, always great to kids, --some of those lic new places are pretentious, overpriced, and definitely not child friendly--

                1. re: janie

                  Yeah. I wasn't impressed. The last time I was in LIC it was warehouses and strip clubs.

              2. One of the best kept secrets in Long Island City and maybe Queens is Bantry Bay Publick House. Best comfort food in Queens hands down! I've never been disappointed with the food here. Great stuff! Every Monday you can get an amazing burger on a soft pretzel bun w/ fries for only $5! You can't beat that...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jpmorganmtb

                  Excellent. That sounds great. If I ever go back...

                2. the outdoor cevapi place on the river at the end of 44th dr. across from the wedding catering joint. Cevapi are good not great, but it's the best place to sit anywhere in queens. Only open in the summer. Don't tell too many people, seriously don't, I'm not kidding don't tell.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: 2slices

                    Okay! Good thing this is a secret website nobody else can find.

                  2. John Brown's Smokehouse for amazing BBQ!!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Motosport

                      Hey Motosport...Your signature pizza - who made that???
                      (if I had to guess, looks like DiFara's)

                      1. re: Motosport

                        For the love of God stay away from John Brown's. I can't say this strongly enough.

                        Do. Not. Go.

                        A friend and I went a few days before July 4th. They're nice people. I especially liked the bartender, who also served as the counter person and manned the phones writing down take out orders. I suspect she also performs weddings and serves as mayor and sheriff. But if you throw that much work on one person service is going to suffer.

                        The decor is minimal but fine for a BBQ place.


                        The draft beer list was short and sweet but I found that I liked the Firestone Walker Double IPA just fine. They have a back garden and a pretty good cajun band was playing outside. After that things didn't go so well.

                        The pastrami looked pretty good.


                        It was quite tender but unfortunately it was also pretty one dimensional. More peppery than I'd like. Not as fatty as I'd like. About a 2 on the Unctuous Meter. As I took a second bit the taste of pepper got stronger. By bite 3 that's all I could taste. I salted it because it needed it. That's heresy, I know, but it helped a bit. There was zero salt in that pastrami.

                        We wanted to order the burnt ends but they were out. Being out of burnt ends seems to be a BBQ tradition, much like white bread. The brisket was our 2nd choice.


                        Dry. Very very dry. The sauce served on the side helped a bit but not enough. This was very lean brisket and it suffered because of it. We suffered too.

                        I suppose it's bad form to complain about the white bread but it really doesn't work with heavy meat laden sandwiches like these. They tend to disintegrate.

                        What is fair to complain about was the mustard, or rather the lack of it. The pastrami was served without it and when I asked at the counter they had to scramble around to find a bottle that was almost empty. If you're going to be serving pastrami I think you need to keep that stuff on hand.

                        I feel really bad about writing all of this because I liked the people there. I briefly met the manager (owner?) and he seemed like a nice guy as well. Perhaps the kitchen was having a bad night?

                        I'll say this. Until I hear good reports from someone I trust I'm going to give John Brown's lots of time to fix things.

                        ETA - A reliable friend went shortly after my visit and also had a really unsatisfying meal.

                      2. Casa Enrique...food is great...especially the guacamole and the lamb shank. Noise level is a bit much since they have bare walls and hard floors.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tabetaina

                          I respectfully offer a differing viewpoint on Casa Enrique. I have only been there twice so this can be taken in light of that but... I don't think it's very good.

                          My first meal the ceviche was very, very fishy, unpleasantly fishy. Not in a cheese that's funky, game meat that's funky good way. The mole while tasting fine, perhaps a bit too bitter, consisted of 2 small pieces of chicken.. The tacos have dry and flavorless tortillas. The chicken was dry. I asked the waitress what to order if I have a big appetite and the chicken mole was recommended. I was still very hungry after appetizer and entree.

                          Tried the guacamole on the second go, it was inoffensive but some of the chunks of guacamole were quite big. Better than the watery mash at Mama Mexicana but not as good as Nixtamal. I ordered the chicken enchiladas, again, meat was dry, the chicken mole was ordered again and it is still 2 small pieces of chicken. Beween the food being overcooked and the flavors being muddled, I would not recommend Casa Enrique unless you are absolutely in dire need of Mexican food in LIC, are starving but have a liliputian stomach. The portions are small and the prices high for what you get. Compared to Nixtamal or even Taqueria Coatzingo, the flavors just are not there. Casa Enrique reminds me of Fonda in Park Slope which is equally mediocre, with bland food, small portions and high prices. I was sitting next to a couple proclaiming it the best mexican food they had ever put in their mouth. They were in rapture. I was thinking that the food is probably one step above the "Mexican" food at Applebee's. I had ordered the Marco pollo dish which consisted of 2 small, stewed chicken legs and cost $20 something dollars. Probably the most expensive restaurant I have been to bite for bite and absolutely underwhelming flavor. I gave it 3 tries over 1 year trying to like it because of good reviews but I should have known better since these same people think that Song serves the best Thai food...

                        2. I had a nice meal at Alobar last week.

                          1. I agree with wolmania. I had Alobar's food at the LIC Flea last week. I had a hot dog with sausage gravy Real sausage gravy like you would get in an authentic southern restaurant. It was incredible.